How to Rig Herring for Sturgeon Fishing

How to Rig Herring for Sturgeon Fishing
Sturgeon are a genus of fish ranging all over the world, from the Caspian Sea to the Great Lakes. They are huge, bony fish with exceptionally long life spans. The white sturgeon, which is a common North American species, can grow 20 feet long, weigh upwards of 2,000 pounds and live more than 100 years. Fish harvesting size limits now prevent fishermen from taking such large specimens anymore. Sturgeon eat Atlantic herring, shad, and whatever other fish are available in the waters they inhabit. They respond well to "match the hatch" fishing, and should be given herring only in areas where and at times of year when they actually eat it.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing rod
  • Fishing tackle
  • Herring
Step 1
Rig your rod with strong fishing line. Eighty-pound braided line is a good choice, since it is strong enough for the fish and has very little stretch, making it relatively easy to set the hook even in deep, fast-flowing water.
Step 2
Thread a sinker slider onto your line and attach a 6- to 32-ounce sinker onto it. The heavier the current, the heavier your sinker should be.
Step 3
Tie on a heavy-duty swivel using a surgeon's knot or your knot of choice.
Step 4
Attach a 96-pound braided nylon leader to your swivel, using the knot of your choice. The leader should be 1.5 to 2 feet long. If you plan on using a whole herring, use a 2.5-foot leader.
Step 5
Cut a 1-inch cube of pickled herring and wrap it in cheese cloth. Thread it onto a 5/0 octopus hook or whatever large hook you prefer for fishing sturgeon. Alternately, hook the bait without cheesecloth and wrap the herring in nylon thread to hold it in place.
Step 6
Use a whole herring to attract larger sturgeon. Hook the nose and secure the bait to the leader with a series of half-hitches along the length of the fish. This will prevent the sturgeon or the current from pulling the bait loose.

Tips & Warnings

The half-hitch method in Step 6 will also work for shad, anchovies and other whole bait fish.

Article Written By Isaiah David

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

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